Articles from North Dakota
The North Dakota Public Service Commission on Wednesday denied a wind farm’s request for an extension to install technology that would keep the lights atop its turbines from blinking bright red all night long.
Chuck Hyatt, the Director of the Division of Waste Management for NDDEQ, brought this to the state’s Environmental Review Advisory Council meeting Wednesday. He shared that there are about 1,800 turbines in the state requiring around 5,000 blades, each of which needs to be replaced every ten years.
State regulators are giving a wind farm in southwestern North Dakota another year to install technology to mitigate the blinking red lights atop its turbines, with the hope that a new dimming system pans out. Montana-Dakota Utilities will have until the end of 2022 to equip its Thunder Spirit wind farm near Hettinger with technology so that the lights don't blink bright red all night long. The company asked for the extension because it's interested in a system known as Lighting Intensity Dimming Solution, which adjusts the intensity of the lights based on weather and visibility conditions.
The announcement that Coal Creek Station would shut down in 2022 sent shudders throughout North Dakota coal country — and sparked what wind energy advocates say is a misguided backlash against wind.
Under state law, newer wind farms had to install technology by the start of 2020 to mitigate the lights so that they don't cause an eyesore by blinking bright red all night. The operators have put in radar-based systems meant to keep the lights off unless an aircraft flies in the vicinity. But members of the Public Service Commission, which pushed for the law, say they’ve noticed the lights seem to stay on more often than they had expected. ...The primary culprit seems to be birds, especially those flying south for winter.
A moratorium on wind-related projects in Mercer County has blocked the construction of a wind farm, making Mercer the second county in central North Dakota to enact anti-wind ordinances. BISMARCK — Ongoing tensions over the construction of a new wind farm in North Dakota coal country have come to a head with Mercer County, N.D., imposing a moratorium on all wind-related projects.
he North Dakota Public Service Commission has fined Xcel Energy $10,000 for failing to meet the deadline for complying with the state’s new law requiring light-mitigating technology atop wind turbines. The system at the new Foxtail wind farm in Dickey County became fully operational April 7, missing the state’s Dec. 31 deadline by several months.
“I continue to believe America is over-saturating our electric grid with intermittent energy at the expense of baseload energy,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann. “But this is a siting case that must be decided based on the law in North Dakota’s Siting Act, as written by the Legislature, and this project meets the requirements of the Siting Act.”
The North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved another settlement with a wind farm developer that missed the deadline to comply with the state's new requirement for technology that stops the lights atop wind turbines from blinking all night long. Regulators at a Wednesday meeting said they would eventually like to get feedback from wind farm operators about how well the lighting systems are working.
The latest penalty of $5,000 comes after operators of the Emmons-Logan wind farm in Emmons and Logan counties failed to install and start operating the technology by Dec. 31, 2019. It took until Feb. 11 for the site to come into compliance.
LM has about 880 employees who work in shifts of about 100 to 150 people, Weiser said. Many of the workers are immigrants or former refugees from African countries, officials from the state's resettlement agency said Thursday. LM spokesman Tim Brown said the plant will remain closed indefinitely.
“Although greatly improved, not all the project’s potential impacts could be avoided,” Link continued, adding that the majority of the project area is still within the Northern Missouri Coteau where there is “a higher degree of displacement risk associated with the development in this landscape area, as compared to other areas within the state” because migratory birds like to stop there.
MINOT, N.D. — On three recent occasions, our regional power grid nearly ran out of power.
Otter Tail Power’s North Dakota residential customers will see an extra charge on their monthly bills next month. For an average customer, it will be $4.01. The reason: It was the method approved by the North Dakota Public Service Commission to take into account the Production Tax Credit for the Merricourt Wind Farm,
A proposed wind farm in Ward and McLean counties has been stopped by red lights. The North Dakota Public Service Commission Wednesday declined to approve a permit requested by Southern Power for its proposed 205-megawatt Ruso Wind Project. The company faced difficulties complying with a 2017 state law that addresses visual pollution by requiring technology on turbines to keep lights from constantly blinking red at night.
State regulators rejected a permit Wednesday for a proposed wind farm in Ward and McLean counties that faced difficulties complying with a 2017 state law requiring new technology to stop turbine-topping lights from blinking bright red all night. The Public Service Commission, in a 1-2 vote, failed to approve Southern Power’s Ruso Wind project, though commissioners left open the option of reconsidering it down the road.
Mollie Smith, an attorney representing the project developer, presented a different interpretation, arguing that the law is ambiguous. The law requires that the technology be implemented consistent with FAA regulations, she said, adding that a conflict arises because the FAA has determined that Ruso Wind needs standard lighting, the kind that blinks all night long. She said the law does not say that the PSC should deny a permit if light mitigation technology is not installed.
The law passed by the North Dakota Legislature does not allow the PSC to give these wind operators extra time to get the new systems put in. Fedorchak said the PSC is sending letters to the six wind farms – telling them they have to comply with the law. She said the companies have been a part of the discussions, and none of them had expressed any concerns with them deadline date.
The wind energy companies argue that the construction is being driven by the markets and demand. A more likely explanation is that there was a rush to build these projects in order to capitalize on a subsidy which was set to expire last year. Wind companies had to break ground on their projects before the end of the year to get in on it. I call it a bubble because that's what inevitably happens when the government creates artificial demand for something with a subsidy. We should build wind farms because they make sense for our energy grid, not to harvest tax dollars.
The owners of a wind farm near Valley City want to re-power the existing farm, by installing larger turbines and bigger blades. But the North Dakota Public Service Commission isn’t yet ready to give it the go-ahead.